On Anger, Book III, XXXII

Let different qualities in different people keep us from quarrelling with them: let us fear to be angry with some, feel ashamed of being angry with others, and disdain to be angry with others.

We do a fine thing, indeed, when we send a wretched slave to the workhouse!

Why are we in such a hurry to flog him at once, to break his legs straightaway? we shall not lose our boasted power if we defer its exercise.

Let us wait for the time when we ourselves can give orders: at present we speak under constraint from anger.

When it has passed away we shall see what amount of damage has been done; for this is what we are especially liable to make mistakes about: we use the sword, and capital punishment, and we appoint chains, imprisonment, and starvation to punish a crime which deserves only flogging with a light scourge.

“In what way,” say you, “do you bid us look at those things by which we think ourselves injured, that we may see how paltry, pitiful, and childish they are?”

Of all things I would charge you to take to yourself a magnanimous spirit, and behold how low and sordid all these matters are about which we squabble and run to and fro till we are out of breath; to anyone who entertains any lofty and magnificent ideas, they are not worthy of a thought.